Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia : from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845
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Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia : from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Journal of an Overland Expedition inAustralia, by Ludwig LeichhardtThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Journal of an Overland Expedition in AustraliaAuthor: Ludwig LeichhardtRelease Date: September 25, 2004 [EBook #5005]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ASCII*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OVERLAND EXPEDITION IN AUSTRALIA ***Produced by Col Choat colc@gutenberg.net.auJOURNAL OF AN OVERLAND EXPEDITION IN AUSTRALIA:FROM MORETON BAY TO PORT ESSINGTON,A DISTANCE OF UPWARDS OF 3000 MILES, DURING THE YEARS 1844-1845byLUDWIG LEICHHARDT (1813-1848)"Die Gotter brauchen manchen guten MannZu ihrem Dienst auf dieser weiten Erde"GOETHE, Iph. auf Tauris.* * * * *ToWILLIAM ALLEYNE NICHOLSON, ESQ., M.D. of Bristol;ToROBERT LYND, ESQ. OF SYDNEYAnd toTHE GENEROUS PEOPLE OF NEW SOUTH WALESThis work is respectfully and gratefully dedicated,ByThe AuthorLagoon near South Alligator RiverPREFACEIn preparing this volume for the press, I have been under the greatest obligations to Captain P. P. King, R. N.,an officer whose researches have added so much to the geography of Australia. This gentleman has not onlycorrected my manuscript, but has added notes, the value of which will be appreciated by all who ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia, by Ludwig Leichhardt This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia Author: Ludwig Leichhardt Release Date: September 25, 2004 [EBook #5005] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OVERLAND EXPEDITION IN AUSTRALIA *** Produced by Col Choat colc@gutenberg.net.au JOURNAL OF AN OVERLAND EXPEDITION IN AUSTRALIA: FROM MORETON BAY TO PORT ESSINGTON, A DISTANCE OF UPWARDS OF 3000 MILES, DURING THE YEARS 1844-1845 by LUDWIG LEICHHARDT (1813-1848) "Die Gotter brauchen manchen guten Mann Zu ihrem Dienst auf dieser weiten Erde" GOETHE, Iph. auf Tauris. * * * * * To WILLIAM ALLEYNE NICHOLSON, ESQ., M.D. of Bristol; To ROBERT LYND, ESQ. OF SYDNEY And to THE GENEROUS PEOPLE OF NEW SOUTH WALES This work is respectfully and gratefully dedicated, By The Author Lagoon near South Alligator River PREFACE In preparing this volume for the press, I have been under the greatest obligations to Captain P. P. King, R. N., an officer whose researches have added so much to the geography of Australia. This gentleman has not only corrected my manuscript, but has added notes, the value of which will be appreciated by all who consider the opportunities he has had of obtaining the most correct information upon these subjects, during his surveys of the coasts parallel to my track. To S. A. Perry, Esq., Deputy Surveyor General, I am extremely indebted for the assiduous labour he has bestowed in draughting my map. I shall ever remember the friendly interest he expressed, and the courteous attention with which he listened to the details of my journey. From the Rev. W. B. Clarke, in addition to the unvaried kindness he has evinced towards me since my arrival in Australia, I have received every assistance which his high scientific acquirements enabled him to give. I take this opportunity of publicly expressing my most sincere thanks to these gentlemen, for the generous assistance they have afforded me on this occasion, and for the warm interest which they have been kind enough to take in the success of my approaching enterprise. LUDWIG LEICHIHARDT. SYDNEY, September 29th, 1846. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I LEAVE THE LAST STATION FOSSIL REMAINS DARLING DOWNS ENTER THE WILDERNESS WATERLOO PLAINS THE CONDAMINE HEAVY RAINS CHARLEY'S MISCONDUCT MURPHY AND CALEB LOST KENT'S LAGOON COAL MURPHY AND CALEB FOUND AGAIN. CHAPTER II PARTY REDUCED BY THE RETURN OF MR. HODGSON AND CALEB MEET FRIENDLY NATIVES NATIVE TOMB THE DAWSON VERVAIN PLAINS GILBERT'S RANGE LYND'S RANGE ROBINSON'S CREEK MURPHY'S LAKE MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRY EXPEDITION RANGE MOUNT NICHOLSON ALDIS'S PEAK THE BOYD. CHAPTER III RUINED CASTLE CREEK ZAMIA CREEK BIGGE'S MOUNTAIN ALLOWANCE OF FLOUR REDUCED NATIVES SPEAR A HORSE CHRISTMAS RANGES BROWN'S LAGOONS THUNDER-STORMS ALBINIA DOWNS COMET CREEK NATIVE CAMP. CHAPTER IV SWARMS OF COCKATOOS ALLOWANCE OF FLOUR FURTHER REDUCED NATIVE FAMILY THE MACKENZIE COAL NATIVES SPEAKING A DIFFERENT IDIOM MOUNT STEWART BROWN AND MYSELF MISS THE WAY BACK TO THE CAMP FIND OUR PARTY AGAIN, ON THE FOURTH DAY NEUMAN'S CREEK ROPER'S PEAK CALVERT'S PEAK GILBERT'S DOME GREAT WANT OF WATER. CHAPTER V DIFFERENCE OF SOIL AS TO MOISTURE PHILLIPS'S MOUNTAIN ALLOWANCE OF FLOUR REDUCED AGAIN HUGHS'S CREEK TOMBSTONE CREEK CHARLEY AND BROWN BECOME UNRULY THE ISAACS NATIVE WOMEN COXEN'S PEAK AND RANGE GEOLOGICAL CHARACTER CHARLEY REBELS AGAIN AND LEAVES BROWN FOLLOWS HIM BOTH RETURN PENITENT VARIATIONS OF THE WEATHER SKULL OF NATIVE FRIENDLY NATIVES VISIT THE CAMP. CHAPTER VI HEADS OF THE ISAACS THE SUTTOR FLINT-ROCK INDICATIONS OF WATER DINNER OF THE NATIVES APPROPRIATED BY US EASTER SUNDAY ALARM OF AN OLD WOMAN NATIVES SPEAKING A LANGUAGE ENTIRELY UNKNOWN TO CHARLEY AND BROWN A BARTER WITH THEM MOUNT M'CONNEL. CHAPTER VII THE BURDEKIN TRANSITION FROM THE DEPOSITORY TO THE PRIMITIVE ROCKS THACKER'S RANGE WILD FIGS GEOLOGICAL REMARKS THE CLARKE THE PERRY. CHAPTER VIII BROWN AND CHARLEY QUARREL NIGHT WATCH ROUTINE OF OUR DAILY LIFE, AND HABITS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE PARTY MOUNT LANG STREAMS OF LAVA A HORSE BREAKS HIS LEG, IS KILLED AND EATEN NATIVE TRIBE MR. ROPER'S ACCIDENT WHITSUNDAY BIG ANT HILL CREEK DEPRIVED OF WATER FOR FIFTY HOURS FRIENDLY NATIVES SEPARATION CREEK THE LYND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF A SOJOURN IN THE WILDERNESS NATIVE CAMP SALT EXHAUSTED. CHAPTER IX THE STARRY HEAVENS SUBSTITUTE FOR COFFEE SAWFISH TWO-STORIED GUNYAS OF THE NATIVES THE MITCHELL MURPHY'S PONY POISONED GREEN TREE-ANT NEW BEVERAGE CROCODILE AUDACITY OF KITES NATIVES NOT FRIENDLY THE CAMP ATTACKED AT NIGHT BY THEM MESSRS. ROPER AND CALVERT WOUNDED, AND MR. GILBERT KILLED. CHAPTER X INDICATIONS OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE SEA NATIVES MUCH MORE NUMEROUS THE SEA; THE GULF OF CARPENTARIA THE STAATEN A NATIVE INTRUDES INTO THE CAMP THE VAN DIEMEN THE GILBERT SINGULAR NATIVE HUTS CARON RIVER FRIENDLY NATIVES THE YAPPAR MR. CALVERT RECOVERED MODE OF ENCAMPMENT SWARMS OF FLIES ABUNDANCE OF SALT NATIVES FRIENDLY, AND MORE INTELLIGENT. CHAPTER XI SYSTEMATIC GRASS BURNINGS OF THE NATIVES NATIVE CARVING AUDACITY OF THE NATIVES OVERAWED THE ALBERT, OR MAET SUYKER NATIVE MODE OF MAKING SURE OF A DEAD EMU BULLOCK BOGGED; OBLIGED TO KILL IT NATIVE DEVICE FOR TAKING EMUS BEAMES'S BROOK THE NICHOLSON RECONNOITRE BY NIGHT SMITH'S CREEK THE MARLOW. CHAPTER XII HEAPS OF OYSTER-SHELLS FALSE ALARM OF A NATIVE IN THE CAMP TURNER'S CREEK WENTWORTH'S CREEK JOURNALS LOST; FOUND AGAIN THE VAN ALPHEN IMPORTANCE OF TEA CHOICE OF BULLOCKS FOR AN EXPEDITION CHOICE OF A DOG THE CALVERT THE ABEL TASMAN GLUCKING BIRD AGAIN DISCOVER A MODE OF USING THE FRUIT OF THE PANDANUS SEVEN EMU RIVER CROCODILE THE ROBINSON SHOAL OF PORPOISES NATIVE METHOD OF PREPARING THE FRUIT OF THE PANDANUS AND CYCAS FOR FOOD MR. ROPER CONVALESCENT WEAR AND TEAR OF CLOTHES SUCCEED IN DRESSING THE SEEDS OF STERCULIA THE MACARTHUR FRIENDLY PARLEY WITH CIRCUMCISED NATIVES STORE OF TEA EXHAUSTED MEDICAL PROPERTY OF THE GREVILLEA DISCOVERED. CHAPTER XIII CAPE MARIA OBLIGED TO LEAVE A PORTION OF OUR COLLECTION OF NATURAL HISTORY LIMMEN BIGHT RIVER HABITS OF WATER BIRDS NATIVE FISH TRAP THE FOUR ARCHERS THE WICKHAM THE DOG DIES IMMENSE NUMBER OF DUCKS AND GEESE THE ROPER THREE HORSES DROWNED OBLIGED TO LEAVE A PORTION OF MY BOTANICAL COLLECTION MORE INTERCOURSE WITH FRIENLDY NATIVES, CIRCUMCISED HODGSON'S CREEK THE WILTON ANOTHER HORSE DROWNED ANXIETY ABOUT OUR CATTLE AN ATTACK ON THE CAMP FRUSTRATED BOILS BASALT AGAIN INJURIOUS EFFECTS OF THE SEEDS OF AN ACACIA. CHAPTER XIV INTERVIEW WITH A NATIVE DISTRESSING HEAT A HORSE STAKED: IT DIES MYRIADS OF FLYING-FOXES MAGNIFICENT VALLEY FRIENDLY NATIVES SHOT EXHAUSTED INSTINCT OF BULLOCKS SOUTH ALLIGATOR RIVER FRIENDLY NATIVES WITH AN ENGLISH HANDKERCHIEF, AND ACQUAINTED WITH FIRE-ARMS THEIR LANGUAGE MIRAGE. CHAPTER XV JOY AT MEETING NATIVES SPEAKING SOME ENGLISH THEY ARE VERY FRIENDLY ALLAMURR DISCERNMENT OF NATIVE SINCERITY EAST ALLIGATOR RIVER CLOUDS OF DUST MISTAKEN FOR SMOKE IMPATIENCE TO REACH THE END OF THE JOURNEY NATIVES STILL MORE INTELLIGENT NYUALL BUFFALOES; SOURCE FROM WHICH THEY SPRUNG NATIVE GUIDES ENGAGED; BUT THEY DESERT US MOUNT MORRIS BAY RAFFLES BAY LEAVE THE PACKHORSE AND BULLOCK BEHIND BILL WHITE ARRIVE AT PORT ESSINGTON VOYAGE TO SYDNEY. APPENDIX LETTER FROM THE COLONIAL SECRETARY TO DR. LEICHHARDT THE LEICHHARDT TESTIMONIAL * * * * * LIST OF PLATES Lagoon near South Alligator River Portraits of "Charley" and "Harry Brown" Dried-beef Creek Camp Mount Nicholson, Expedition Range, etc. Peak Range Red Mountain Fletcher's Awl, etc. Campbell's Peak Mount M'Connel Ranges seen from a granitic hill between second and third camp at the Burdekin Robey's Range Grasshopper Ranges from the camp at the Burdekin View near South Alligator River Victoria Square, Port Essington INTRODUCTION ORIGIN OF THE EXPEDITION PARTY FORMED LEAVE SYDNEY FOR BRISBANE PARTY ENLARGED OUTFIT AND STORES. On my return to Moreton Bay, from an exploratory journey in the country northward of that district, which had occupied me for two years, I found that the subject of an overland expedition to Port Essington on the North Coast of Australia, was occupying much attention, as well on the part of the public as on that of the Legislative Council, which had earnestly recommended the appropriation of a sum of money to the amount of 1000 pounds, for the equipment of an expedition under Sir Thomas Mitchell, to accomplish this highly interesting object. Some delay was, however, caused by the necessity of communicating with the Secretary of State for the Colonies; and in the mean time it was understood that Captain Sturt was preparing to start from Adelaide to proceed across the Continent. From the experience which I had gained during my two years' journeyings, both in surmounting the difficulties of travelling through a broken mountainous country, and in enduring privations of every sort, "I was inspired with the desire of attempting it," provided I could be assisted in the expense that would necessarily be incurred for the outfit, and could find a few companions who would be contented with animal food, and willingly and patiently submit to the privation of flour, tea, and sugar, and resign themselves to my guidance. I had well considered this interesting subject in all its bearings, and had discussed it with many of my acquaintances at Brisbane and its neighbouring district; who were generally of opinion that it was practicable, under the plan I had marked out: but with others, particularly at Sydney, I had to contend against a strong but kindly meant opposition to my journey. Some, who took more than a common interest in my pursuits, regretted that I should leave so promising a field of research as that which offered itself within the limits of New South Wales, and in which they considered I had laboured with some success during the last two years. Others considered the undertaking exceedingly dangerous, and even the conception of it madness on my part; and the consequence of a blind enthusiasm, nourished either by a deep devotion to science, or by an unreasonable craving for fame: whilst others did not feel themselves justified in assisting a man who they considered was setting out with an intention of committing suicide. I was not, however, blind as to the difficulties of the journey which I was determined to undertake; on the contrary, and I hope my readers will believe me to be sincere, I thought they would be many and great--greater indeed than they eventually proved to be; but, during my recent excursions through the Squatting districts, I had so accustomed myself to a comparatively wild life, and had so closely observed the habits of the aborigines, that I felt assured that the only real difficulties which I could meet with would be of a local character. And I was satisfied that, by cautiously proceeding, and always reconnoitring in advance or on either side of our course, I should be able to conduct my party through a grassy and well watered route; and, if I were so fortunate as to effect this, I felt assured that the journey, once commenced, would be finished only by our arrival at Port Essington. Buoyed up by this feeling, and by confidence in myself, I prevailed against the solicitations and arguments of my friends, and commenced my preparations, which, so far as my own slender means and the contributions of kind friends allowed, were rather hurriedly completed by the 13th August, 1844. As our movements were to be comparatively in light marching order, our preparations were confined more to such provisions and stores as were actually necessary, than to anything else. But I had frequently reason to regret that I was not better furnished with instruments, particularly Barometers, or a boiling water apparatus, to ascertain the elevation of the country and ranges we had to travel over. The only instruments which I carried, were a Sextant and Artificial Horizon, a Chronometer, a hand Kater's Compass, a small Thermometer, and Arrowsmith's Map of the Continent of New Holland. In arranging the plan of my journey I had limited my party to six individuals; and although many young men volunteered their services, I was obliged to decline their offers, and confine myself to the stated number, as it was intimately connected with the principles and the means on which I started. On leaving Sydney, my companions consisted of Mr. James Calvert; Mr. John Roper; John Murphy, a lad of about 16 years old: of William Phillips, a prisoner of the Crown; and of "Harry Brown," an aboriginal of the Newcastle tribe: making with myself six individuals. We left Sydney, on the night of the 13th August, for Moreton Bay, in the steamer "Sovereign," Captain Cape; and I have much pleasure in recording and thankfully acknowledging the liberality and disinterested kindness of the Hunter's River Steam Navigation Company, in allowing me a free passage for my party with our luggage and thirteen horses. The passage was unusually long, and, instead of arriving at Brisbane in three days, we were at sea a week, so that my horses suffered much for food and water, and became discouragingly poor. On arriving at Brisbane, we were received with the greatest kindness by my friends the "Squatters," a class principally composed of young men of good education, gentlemanly habits, and high principles, and whose unbounded hospitality and friendly assistance I had previously experienced during my former travels through the district. These gentlemen and the inhabitants of Brisbane overloaded me with kind contributions, much of which, however, to avoid any unnecessary increase to my luggage, I found myself compelled to decline or leave behind; so that I had to forego the advantage of many useful and desirable articles, from their being too cumbersome for my limited means of carriage, and therefore interfering with the arrangements for my undertaking. My means, however, had since my arrival been so much increased, that I was after much reluctance prevailed upon to make one change,--to increase my party; and the following persons were added to the expedition:-- Mr. Pemberton Hodgson, a resident of the district; Mr. Gilbert; Caleb, an American negro; and "Charley," an aboriginal native of the Bathurst tribe. Mr. Hodgson was so desirous of accompanying me that, in consideration of former obligations, I could not refuse him, and, as he was fond of Botanical pursuits, I thought he might be useful. Of Mr. Gilbert I knew nothing; he was in the service of Mr. Gould, the talented Zoologist who has added so much to our knowledge of the Fauna of Australia, and expressed himself so anxious for an opportunity of making important observations as to the limits of the habitat of the Eastern Coast Birds, and also where those of the North Coast commence; as well as of discovering forms new to Science during the progress of the journey, that, from a desire to render all the service in my power to Natural History, I found myself obliged to yield to his solicitations, although for some time I was opposed to his wish. These gentlemen equipped themselves, and added four horses and two bullocks to those already provided. Perhaps, of all the difficulties I afterwards encountered, none were of so much real annoyance as those we experienced at first starting from Brisbane. Much rain had fallen, which filled the creeks and set them running, and made the road so boggy and soft as to render them almost impassable. It took us the whole day to transport our party, cattle, and provisions over the river, and the operation was not concluded before sunset; but, as it was a fine moonlight night, I determined to start, however short my first stage might be. Fortunately, my friends had lent me a bullock dray to convey a portion of our stores as far as Darling Downs; but, having purchased a light spring cart, it was also loaded; and, flattering myself that we should proceed comfortably and rapidly, I gave orders to march. After much continued difficulty in urging and assisting our horses to drag the cart through the boggy road, we arrived, at about one o'clock in the morning, at Cowper's Plains, about ten miles from Brisbane. I now found my cart an impediment to our movements; but, as it had been an expensive article, I did not despair of its becoming more useful after passing the boggy country. A few days afterwards, however, an accident settled the question; the horses ran away with it, and thereby the shaft was broken, and the spring injured, so that I was compelled to leave it; which I then did most cheerfully, as it is always easier to man to yield to necessity, than to adopt an apparently inconvenient measure by his own free will. The load was removed to pack-horses, and we proceeded with comparative ease to Mr. Campbell's station, enjoying the hospitality of the settlers as we passed on, and carrying with us their best wishes. I was fortunate in exchanging my broken cart for three good travelling bullocks, and afterwards purchased five draft-bullocks, which we commenced to break in for the pack-saddle; for I had by this time satisfied myself that we could not depend upon the horses for carrying our load. Neither my companions nor myself knew much about bullocks, and it was a long time before we were reconciled to the dangerous vicinity of their horns. By means, however, of iron nose-rings with ropes attached, we obtained a tolerable command over their movements; and, at last, by dint of habit, soon became familiar with, and even got attached to, our blunt and often refractory COMPAGNONS DE VOYAGE. By a present from Messieurs Campbell and Stephens of four young steers and one old bullock, and of a fat bullock from Mr. Isaacs, our stock of cattle consisted now of 16 head: of horses we had 17: and our party consisted of ten individuals. Of provisions--we had 1200 lbs. of flour: 200 lbs. of sugar: 80 lbs. of tea: 20 lbs. of gelatine: and other articles of less consideration, but adding much to our comfort during the first few weeks of our journey. Of ammunition--we had about 30 pounds of powder, and 8 bags of shot of different sizes, chiefly of No. 4 and No. 6. Every one, at my desire, had provided himself with two pair of strong trowsers, three strong shirts, and two pair of shoes; and I may further remark that some of us were provided with Ponchos, made of light strong calico, saturated with oil, which proved very useful to us by keeping out the wet, and made us independent of the weather; so that we were well provided for seven months, which I was sanguine enough to think would be a sufficient time for our journey. The result proved that our calculations, as to the provisions, were very nearly correct; for even our flour, much of which was destroyed by accident, lasted to the end of May, the eighth month of our journey; but, as to the time it occupied, we were very much deceived. Our riding-saddles and pack-saddles were made of good materials, but they were not fitted to the horses' backs, which caused a constant inconvenience, and which would not have happened, had my means allowed me to go to a greater expense. So long as we had spare horses, to allow those with sore backs to recover, we did not suffer by it: but when we were compelled to ride the same horses without intermission, it exposed us to great misery and even danger, as well as the risk of losing our provisions and stores. Our pack-saddles had consequently to be altered to the dimensions of the bullocks; and, having to use the new ones for breaking in, they were much injured, even before we left Mr. Campbell's to commence our journey. The statements of what a bullock was able to carry were very contradictory; but in putting 250 lbs. upon them the animals were overloaded; and my experience has since shown me that they cannot, continually day after day, carry more than 150 lbs. for any distance. The difficulties which we met with for the first three weeks, were indeed very trying:--the loading of bullocks and horses took generally two hours; and the slightest accident, or the cargo getting loose during the day's journey, frequently caused the bullocks to upset their loads and break the straps, and gave us great trouble even in catching them again:--at night, too, if we gave them the slightest chance, they would invariably stray back to the previous camp; and we had frequently to wait until noon before Charley and Brown, who generally performed the office of herdsman in turns, recovered the ramblers. The consequences were that we could proceed only very slowly, and that, for several months, we had to keep a careful watch upon them throughout the night. The horses, with some few exceptions, caused us less trouble at the commencement of our journey than afterwards, when our hobbles were worn out and lost, and, with the exception of one or two which in turns were tethered in the neighbourhood of the camp in order to prevent the others from straying, they were necessarily allowed to feed at large. It may readily be imagined that my anxiety to secure our horses was very great, because the loss of them would have put an immediate stop to my undertaking.--But I hasten to enter on the narrative of our journey. CHAPTER I LEAVE THE LAST STATION FOSSIL REMAINS DARLING DOWNS ENTER THE WILDERNESS WATERLOO PLAINS THE CONDAMINE HEAVY RAINS CHARLEY'S MISCONDUCT MURPHY AND CALEB LOST KENT'S LAGOON COAL MURPHY AND CALEB FOUND AGAIN. It was at the end of September, 1844, when we completed the necessary preparations for our journey, and left the station of Messrs. Campbell and Stephens, moving slowly towards the farthest point on which the white man has established himself. We passed the stations of Messrs. Hughs and Isaacs and of Mr. Coxen, and arrived on the 30th September, at Jimba, [It is almost always written Fimba, in the Journal; but I have corrected it to Jimba.--(ED.)] where we were to bid farewell to civilization. These stations are established on creeks which come down from the western slopes of the Coast Range-- here extending in a north and south direction--and meander through plains of more or less extent to join the Condamine River; which--also rising in the Coast Range, where the latter expands into the table-land of New England--sweeps round to the northward, and, flowing parallel to the Coast Range, receives the whole drainage from the country to the westward of the range. The Condamine forms, for a great distance, the separation of the sandstone country to the westward, from the rich basaltic plains to the eastward. These plains, so famous for the richness of their pasture, and for the excellency of the sheep and cattle depastured upon them, have become equally remarkable as the depositaries of the remains of extinct species of animals, several of which must have been of a gigantic size, being the Marsupial representatives of the Pachydermal order of other continents. Mr. Isaacs' station is particularly rich in these fossil remains; and they have been likewise found in the beds and banks of Mr. Hodgson's and of Mr. Campbell's Creeks, and also of Oaky Creek. At Isaacs' Creek, they occur together with recent freshwater shells of species still living in the neighbouring ponds, and with marly and calcareous concretions; which induces me to suppose that these plains were covered with large sheets of water, fed probably by calcareous springs connected with the basaltic range, and that huge animals, fond of water, were living, either on the rich herbage surrounding these ponds or lakes, or browsing upon the leaves and branches of trees forming thick brushes on the slopes of the neighbouring hills. The rise of the country, which is very generally supposed to have taken place, was probably the cause of the disappearance of the water, and of the animals becoming extinct, when its necessary supply ceased to exist. Similar remains have been found in Wellington Valley, and in the Port Phillip District, where, probably, similar changes have taken place. The elevation of Darling Downs--about 1800 to 2000 feet, according to the barometrical observations of Mr. Cunningham--renders the climate much cooler than its latitude would lead one to suppose; indeed, ice has frequently been found, during the calm clear nights of winter. During September and October, we observed at sunrise an almost perfect calm. About nine o'clock, light westerly winds set in, which increased towards noon, died away towards evening, and after sunset, were succeeded by light easterly breezes; thunder-storms rose from south and south-west, and passed over with a violent gust of wind and heavy showers of rain; frequently, in half an hour's time, the sky was entirely clear again; sometimes, however, the night and following day were cloudy. The plains, as we passed, were covered with the most luxuriant grass and herbage. Plants of the leguminosae and compositae, were by far the most prevalent; the colour of the former, generally a showy red, that of the latter, a bright yellow. Belts of open forest land, principally composed of the Box-tree of the Colonists (a species of Eucalyptus), separate the different plains; and patches of scrub, consisting of several species of Acacias, and of a variety of small trees, appear to be the outposts of the extensive scrubs of the interior. There are particularly three species of Acacias, which bestow a peculiar character on these scrubs: the one is the Myal (A. pendula)--first seen by Oxley on Liverpool Plains, and afterwards at the Barwan, and which exists in all the western plains between the Barwan and Darling Downs--whose drooping foliage and rich yellow blossoms render it extremely elegant and ornamental. The second, the Acacia of Coxen, resembles the Myal (without its drooping character), its narrow lanceolate phyllodia rather stiff, its yellowish branches erect. The third, is the Bricklow Acacia, which seems to be identical with the Rose-wood Acacia of Moreton Bay; the latter, however, is a fine tree, 50 to 60 feet high, whereas the former is either a small tree or a shrub. I could not satisfactorily ascertain the origin of the word Bricklow [Brigaloe, GOULD.], but, as it is well understood and generally adopted by all the squatters between the Severn River and the Boyne, I shall make use of the name. Its long, slightly falcate leaves, being of a silvery green colour, give a peculiar character to the forest, where the tree abounds. Oct. 1.--After having repaired some harness, which had been broken by our refractory bullocks upsetting their loads, and after my companions had completed their arrangements, in which Mr. Bell kindly assisted, we left Jimba, and launched, buoyant with hope, into the wilderness of Australia. Many a man's heart would have thrilled like our own, had he seen us winding our way round the first rise beyond the station, with a full chorus of "God Save the Queen," which has inspired many a British soldier,-- aye, and many a Prussian too--with courage in the time of danger. Scarcely a mile from Jimba we crossed Jimba Creek, and travelled over Waterloo Plains, in a N. W. direction, about eight miles, where we made our first camp at a chain of ponds. Isolated cones and ridges were seen to the N. E., and Craig Range to the eastward: the plains were without trees, richly grassed, of a black soil with frequent concretions of a marly and calcareous nature. Charley gave a proof of his wonderful power of sight, by finding every strap of a pack- saddle, that had been broken, in the high grass of Waterloo Plains. Oct. 2.--Bullocks astray, but found at last by Charley; and a start attempted at 1 o'clock; the greater part of the bullocks with sore backs: the native tobacco in blossom. One of the bullocks broke his pack-saddle, and compelled us to halt. Oct. 3.--Rise at five o'clock, and start at half-past nine; small plains alternate with a flat forest country, slightly timbered; melon-holes; marly concretions, a stiff clayey soil, beautifully grassed: the prevailing timber trees are Bastard box, the Moreton Bay ash, and the Flooded Gum. After travelling seven miles, in a north-west direction, we came on a dense Myal scrub, skirted by a chain of shallow water-holes. The scrub trending towards, and disappearing in, the S. W.: the Loranthus and the Myal in immense bushes; Casuarina frequent. In the forest, Ranunculus inundatus; Eryngium with terete simple leaves, of which the horses are fond; Prasophyllum elatum, sweetly scented. A new composite with white blossoms, the rays narrow and numerous. Sky clear; cumuli to the S. W.; wind from the westward. Ridges visible to the N.N.E. and N.E. At the outskirts of the scrub, the short-tailed sleeping lizard with knobby scales was frequent: one of them contained six eggs. We camped outside of the scrub, surrounded by small tufts of the Bricklow Acacia. Droves of kangaroos entered the scrub; their foot-paths crossed the forest in every direction. The thermometer, before and at sunrise, 32 degrees; so cold that I could not work with my knife, away from the fire. At sunset, a thick gathering of clouds to the westward. Oct. 4.--Cloudy sky; thermometer 50 degrees at sunrise; little dew; 64 degrees at eight o'clock. We travelled about eleven miles in a S. W. and S. S. W. direction, skirting the scrub. During the journey, two thunder-storms passed over; one to the southward beyond the Condamine, the other to the north and north- east over the mountains. The scrub is a dense mass of vegetation, with a well defined outline--a dark body of foliage, without grass, with many broken branches and trees; no traces of water, or of a rush of waters. More to the southward, the outline of the scrub becomes less defined, and small patches are seen here and there in the forest. The forest is open and well timbered; but the trees are rather small. A chain of lagoons from E. by N.--W. by S.; large flooded gum-trees (but no casuarinas) at the low banks of the lagoons. The presence of many fresh-water muscles (Unio) shows that the water is constant, at least in ordinary seasons. The scrub opens more and more; a beautiful country with Bricklow groves, and a white Vitex in full blossom. The flats most richly adorned by flowers of a great variety of colours: the yellow Senecios, scarlet Vetches, the large Xeranthemums, several species of Gnaphalium, white Anthemis-like compositae: the soil is a stiff clay with concretions: melon-holes with rushes; the lagoons with reeds. At night, a thunder-storm from south-west. Our dogs caught a female kangaroo with a young one in its pouch, and a kangaroo rat. Oct. 5.--We followed the chain of lagoons for about seven miles, in a west by south direction; the country to our right was most beautiful, presenting detached Bricklow groves, with the Myal, and with the Vitex in full bloom, surrounded by lawns of the richest grass and herbage; the partridge pigeon (Geophaps scripta) abounded in the Acacia groves; the note of the Wonga Wonga (Leucosarcia picata, GOULD.) was heard; and ducks and two pelicans were seen on the lagoons. Blackfellows had been here a short time ago: large unio shells were abundant; the bones of the codfish, and the shield of the fresh-water turtle, showed that they did not want food. A small orange tree, about 5-8 minutes high, grows either socially or scattered in the open scrub, and a leafless shrub, belonging to the Santalaceae, grows in oblong detached low thickets. Chenopodiaceous plants are always frequent where the Myal grows. The latitude of our camp was 26 degrees 56 minutes 11 seconds.
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